Best boat battery charger for the money in 2019. Tried, tested & reviewed
If you’re an angler, chances are you fish from a boat, kayak or an inflatable fishing pontoon boat. If so, you might find yourself using a trolling motor to help move yourself from fishing location to fishing location. If a trolling motor is your primary means of transportation you’ll definitely need a marine battery to power your boat or kayak trolling motor (unfortunately they can’t be powered by hopes and dreams) and when that battery loses its charge, you’ll need to make sure it is properly recharged before you next fishing adventure. This is where having yourself one of the best boat battery chargers will pay off greatly. Having the ability to recharge your battery quickly is a necessity if you want to be out on the water as much as possible. Oftentimes when people are doing their research before purchasing an onboard marine battery charger they’ll search things like, “What are the best onboard battery chargers for boats?”, “Best marine battery charger reviews.” or “Best marine battery charger comparison.” If you’re looking for the best onboard boat battery charger you’re in luck, here’s our list of the top 5 marine battery chargers for the money in 2019.
Enjoy the Top Marine Onboard Battery Charger Reviews
|Minn Kota Precision On-Board Charger||Amazon|
|Minn Kota On-Board Digital Charger||Amazon|
|ProMariner 43012 ProSport 12 12 Amp, 12/24 Volt, 2 Bank Generation 3 Battery Charger||Amazon|
|Battery Tender Plus 021-0128, 1.25 Amp Battery Charger is a Smart Charger||Amazon|
|Battery Tender 800||Amazon|
Pricing of these Marine Battery Chargers Range Between $30-$100
The Minn Kota Precision On-Board Charger has a unique ability to select and charge different battery types by bank, enabling it to protect the batteries from potential damage that can be caused by either under or over charging them. It has been designed to withstand all the potential damaging factors that a charger could be exposed to on the water. It is waterproof and made with corrosion resistant aluminium making it perfect for both saltwater and freshwater fishing. It’s also shock and vibration resistant so high-speeds and waves won’t affect this chargers ability to perform. This Boat Battery Charger is truly an industry leader with multi-stage charging, temperature compensation and digital control. The Minn Kota is extremely accurate and has a number of safety features, including low line Voltage Compensation that adjusts if there is a drop in voltage. It is safe to leave it on all year round, even during the coldest of winters when you’re in need of an ice fishing heater. Weighing in at just 3lb, the precision charger is also much lighter than other similar brands on the market, so it’s useful even for smaller boats. The LED display lets you get an accurate readout for each bank, including connection status, power status, percent charged and selected battery type. It’s also short circuit, reverse polarity, with arc and ignition protection.
- Durable design
- Shock and vibration resistant
- Safe to leave on year-round
- 3 year replacement warranty
This Minn Kota Boat Battery Charger has a digitally-controlled microprocessor design. This design allows the boat battery charger to deliver a faster, more accurate charge each and every time it is used. Part of how it does this is through the automatic temperature control. Sensors read the fluctuations in heat so that the charger is able to adjust accordingly and continue to provide the most optimal charge possible. One really nice thing about this charger is the LED display. With it you can stay informed of the charge at any stage and be notified of any errors that may have occurred. It means that you can fish safe in the knowledge that if anything goes wrong with the battery, you’ll know in time to be able to resolve it. The charging itself is multi-stage. When it is fully charged the marine battery will go into maintenance mode, delivering charge at a lower rate to ensure that it stays topped up without overheating As with other Minn Kota on board chargers, the digital readout is both shock and vibration resistant and is protected against corrosion from saltwater making it one of the best onboard marine battery chargers. This charger is big and heavy duty, so you must make sure that you have a space of 10”x18” for it in your storage area.
- Faster, more accurate charge
- LED display keeps you informed
- Multi-stage charging
- Adapts to temperature fluctuations
- Trickle chargers can still overheat
- Is very large and heavy
The ProMariner ProSports main feature is the levels it goes to in order to save as much energy as possible. After a battery is fully charged by it, it goes into Energy Saver Mode – this is designed to monitor and maintain the charge in the battery over time, automatically maintaining them in order to lower AC power usage and other operating costs, while still having a full reserve of power. The LED display lets you know what mode it’s in. It needs to be mentioned that even though this is advertised as being a two-bank charger, one for a cranking battery and one for a trolling motor, if there are multiple batteries connected as a series this ProMariner will charge them together. While this is excellent news for those who are hesitant in buying a 3 bank charger, The ProSport used distributed demand charging, so that it will be distributed evenly across all batteries. Overall, it will make for faster charging than it you were doing them individually, but isn’t going to be as fast as a 3 bank. An important thing to note about this boat battery charger is that if this charger is going to be secured directly to a boat, especially if it is aluminium, than it is important that it rests on a piece of plywood or glass. This will prevent the unit from overheating and is essential to do, even if it is added work.
- Energy Saver mode
- Charges batteries in a series
- LED display shows battery mode
- Slower charging if across series
- Must rest on a plywood or glass base if boat is aluminum
The Battery Tender Plus is a fast and efficient 1.25 amp charger with reverse polarity protection and a quick connect harness allowing it to connect even in the hardest to reach areas. It has a very long power cord of 6ft and is fully automatic, maintaining proper storage voltage all without the sometimes damaging effects of trickle chargers. It’s maximum power level is approximately 18 watts for the 12v model and 9 watts for the 6v model, both with a maximum output current of 1.25 amps, so not the highest on the market, but certainly enough to get the job done. The Battery Tender is also one of the most reasonably priced items on the market so you are certainly getting more bang for your buck and you could potentially use it to charge up your electric ice auger in the winter. It is very portable, being sized for a desktop and while it will take a long time to charge a battery when it’s completely dead, it is great for keeping your boat batteries topped up safety with its automatic change to float/maintenance mode when it detects a full charge. The Battery Tender Plus has recently gone through a change in both software and design, adapting to the battery market as it stands today.
- Very affordable
- Reverse polarity protection
- 6ft power cord
- Fully automatic
- Not very powerful
- Will take a long time to charge a dead battery
The Battery Tender 800 has fully-automated ”SuperSmart” charging. It has a number of safety features and is completely spark proof and weatherproof. This boat battery charger is also able to withstand shocks and vibrations. The interior is completely encapsulated by a synthetic epoxy resin compound. It even has reverse polarity and short circuit protection, making it one of the safest boat battery chargers on the market. No larger than a standard computer mouse and weighting in at only 1lb it is very compact. While it’s certainly not the most powerful boat battery charger on the market, it still has an impressive 800 milliamps of current charge power at its disposal. The smart microcontroller on this charger ensures that the correct level of power is sent to the battery at all times and it even checks for a safe connection before charging. This little charger is as tough as they come, and also very affordable. Overall, for everyday use to keep your boat battery up to full, it really is a great boat battery charger.
- ‘SuperSmart’ microprocessor
- Compact design
- 800 milliamps
- Not for heavy duty charging
- Will take a long time to charge a dead battery